Zimmerman case was not about race, juror tells CNN

NEW YORK Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:10pm EDT

George Zimmerman leaves the courtroom a free man after being found not guilty in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center in Sanford, Florida, July 13, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Burbank/Pool

George Zimmerman leaves the courtroom a free man after being found not guilty in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center in Sanford, Florida, July 13, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Joe Burbank/Pool

Related Topics

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The George Zimmerman trial was not about race and the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer was justified in firing the shot that killed Trayvon Martin because he feared for his life, one of the jurors told CNN on Monday.

Juror B-37, a mother of two who grew up in a military family and used to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, said she did not believe Zimmerman racially profiled the unarmed black teenager when he called police to report a suspicious person.

"All of us thought race did not play a role," the juror told Anderson Cooper in an interview with her identity concealed.

A jury of six anonymous women - all white, except one - found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter on Saturday after a three-week trial in which defense lawyers argued that he shot Martin in self-defense.

"He had a right to defend himself," the juror said, adding that she believed Martin started the fight and threw the first punch.

"I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him," the juror said.

Immediately following the verdict in Sanford, Florida, civil rights activists, who were convinced Zimmerman racially profiled Martin as a criminal, began calling for federal charges against the neighborhood watchman, saying the trial failed to serve justice.

The juror told CNN that an initial poll of the six women showed three favored not guilty, two voted for manslaughter and one opted for second-degree murder.

"There was a couple of them in there that wanted to find him guilty of something. And after hours and hours and hours of deliberating over the law, and reading it over and over and over again, we just decided there's no other way or place to go" but acquittal, she said.

Sounding tearful at times, she said the jury worked hard to reach a verdict, and cried over the decision.

"I want people to know that we put everything into it," she said. "We thought about it over and over."

On one crucial point of contention, she said most, if not all, six jurors believed it was Zimmerman and not Martin who was calling for help in the background of a 911 emergency call.

Martin's mother and brother testified it was Martin's voice screaming for help while Zimmerman's parents and several friends swore they recognized it as Zimmerman's voice.

"I think it was George Zimmerman's. All but probably one (juror agreed)," she said.

Where she did fault Zimmerman was for showing bad judgment after calling police to report a suspicious person. Zimmerman got out of his car after an emergency dispatcher had admonished him not to follow the person.

Juror B-37 said the altercation could have been avoided if both men had just walked away.

"I feel sorry for both of them," she said.

(Editing by Dina Kyriakidou and Lisa Shumaker)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
GreenInferno wrote:
The “case” may not have been about race, but the crime certainly was.

These women jurors have completely been misled, and have cemented in a ghastly divisive brand of justice.

Jul 15, 2013 10:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jakereuben wrote:
Everyone is entitled to an opinion in the United States and upon earth. Eric Holder should be FIRED for his willingness to “usurp” the Constitution of the United States based on his prejudice of the jurors decision to acquit George Zimmerman. The travesty is this case is not the death of Traevon Martin, as horrible as that is(a child dying so young). The travesty is that the TOP officials of the Untied States, President Barack Hussein Obama and Eric Holder believe that they can put aside our countries constitution. Furthermore, ERIC HOLDER, was not with George Zimmerman when he fired his weapon, any opinion he could draw from this would be speculative at best. The fact he would doubt juror’s decision proves he IS NOT qualified to be the Attorney General of The United States, and that his opinion is biased. FIRE ERIC HOLDER AND KEEP OUR CONSTITUTION ALIVE!

Jul 15, 2013 11:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Phrrho wrote:
Inside the mind of a white racist juror

“Martin wasn’t innocent either” – yep, definitely had no right to walk down the street…

“Police Detective Chris Serino made a big impression on her…He would have known how to spot a liar” – because cops are always right…and never lie. Serino (Hispanic); any questions here?

“Legal analysts agreed that Serino’s testimony was a blow to the state’s case” – if it had been an all black jury, 100% guarantee Serino’s testimony would have been a blow to the defense due to the b.s. rule.

“The juror was not impressed by the testimony of Rachel Jeantel” – of course not; juror B37 is on recording, commenting about Jeantel’s education level and speech. Oh yeah, she’s also black.

“The juror said she didn’t think Martin’s race was the reason that Zimmerman followed him” – right, because if Trayvon was white, Zimmerman would have definitely got out of his car and hunted him down.

May the jurors’ lives never be the same

Jul 15, 2013 11:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.